Meet the Chefs of Common Ground’s Feast from the Fields ’23!



At Common Ground, we deeply value everyone who makes up our local food ecosystem. These community partners hold the same beliefs that we do – that food can be a celebration, rooted in culture and prepared sustainably. We are grateful to the following chefs and business owners, who are generously donating their time and product to make Feast 2023 possible! Get your ticket today to enjoy their incredible food, made using produce grown right on our farm, all while supporting Common Ground!

Chefs Elmer and Sandra, Owners La Cocina De Sandra


We are thrilled and honored to announce that Mother/Son duo Sandra and Elmer will be returning with their catering business, La Cocina De Sandra, at Feast! There’s so much that makes this duo special – including the fact that Elmer is a CG alum! As an immigrant from Guatemala, Sandra seeks to give people smiles whenever they taste her cooking. With help from her son Elmer, they are able to do just that. From their table to yours, they offer Latin American cuisine to your home. It started with an idea – to bring pleasure and happiness to New Haven with Sandra’s cooking. People all around the county and state love her food, so she and her son seek to give people just that: love.

Harinder “Harry” Singh, Chef and Owner at House of Naan + Pataka


Harinder “Harry” Singh learned the ins and outs of the restaurant business from working at Sitar, his father’s restaurant that has been in business for over 35 years. Since then, Harry always knew that he would open his own restaurant one day. This dream birthed House of Naan, a restaurant that redefines the Indian food experience creating modern flavors in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition to House of Naan, Harry owns Pataka, founded in New Haven and now located in Queens, NY, which seeks to innovate a vegetarian Indian cuisine that is rooted in SPICE and SUSTAINABILITY. Chef Harry has partnered with local farms like MASSARO FARM, STARLIGHT FARM, as well as COMMON GROUND!

Chef Homa, Chef at Sanctuary Kitchen


Homa Assadi is a refugee from the Jaghori District of Afghanistan who came to New Haven in 2015 with her husband and three children. She is passionate about cooking, and has been catering for IRIS’ (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) week-long core classes for newly-arrived refugees to New Haven. Homa’s favorite traditional food is mantu – meat-stuffed dumplings, one of the most popular dishes in Afghanistan. When she was a child, she was taught how to prepare this special dish from her father, who was the primary cook when she was growing up after the loss of her mother.

Homa also enjoys baking. While her repertoire in Afghanistan was limited to preparing homemade naan, since living in the U.S. she has learned to bake desserts from watching YouTube! She is excited to be part of Sanctuary kitchen, saying, “I most look forward to preparing my traditional food and sharing my culture. I hope everyone will enjoy it together!”

Sonia Salazar, Chef and Owner at Barracuda + Te Amo + 80 Proof


Sonia Salazar’s passion for food started when she was seven years old in Colombia, cooking recipes passed down from generation to generation. Moving to this country began her culinary exploration and opened her palate to a new world of cooking and tasting, enticing her to learn the ways of food preparation from other cultures. Her culinary experience working for the Hyatt & Westin hotels gave her the opportunity to work with and learn from many international chefs and develop her own flare for fusion cooking.In 2015 Salazar opened Barracuda Bistro & Bar on Chapel Street, a Latin American gastro bar and in 2018 she opened Te Amo Tequila Bar & Tacos on Temple Street, a modern Mexican taco & tequila restaurant in a sophisticated, high energy atmosphere. She most recently opened 80 Proof American Kitchen & Bar on Crown Street, which focuses on shareable plates and elevated bar food.  

Alisha Crutchfield, Owner at BLOOM


Alisha Crutchfield is a prominent Fashion/Celebrity Stylist, Tech and Lifestyle Entrepreneur, plus mom, who splits her time between New York City and Connecticut. With over 18 years of experience, her keen fashion sense, work ethic, and risk-taking has led to a successful career in high fashion, editorial, runway, theater, tv and film. Alisha is constantly evolving and growing her professional portfolio. Through her StyleWise Life (SWL) program, tools, specialized techniques and positive philosophy, many have learned to create more of what they want in their lives– more wellness in their bodies, minds, and spirits. With her new venture BLOOM, she is combining these same principles with an emphasis on mental health and local talent by providing a community space for professional and personal growth. BLOOM is a community gathering center that curates from the heart of the community we set out to empower.

Mark Scialabba, Executive Chef at Firehouse 12


Mark Scialabba is the chef of Firehouse 12, a cocktail bar located in the basement of a jazz focused recording studio, in New Haven, CT. He specializes in vegan plant-based cuisine utilizing ingredients and techniques from around the globe. He has been cooking professionally for over ten years in many different kitchens throughout New Haven and often features Common Ground produce in his dishes. After Firehouse 12 experienced extensive water damage from heavy rains during Hurricane Ida, in September 2021, Owner Nick Lloyd renovated the recording studio/performance space for the first time in 20 years, collaborating with Gray Organschi – who specializes in low-impact ecologically-conscious construction and building techniques. With the renovation now complete Firehouse 12 is officially REOPENED to the public! Visit them today!

Team Olmo of Olmo Bagels


Team Olmo will provide fresh New Haven style bagels. Olmo has been taking bagels, pride in our city, and care for the community to the next level since 2018!

Chef T (Fathiya Williams), Common Ground Kitchen


Chef T was her mother’s kitchen helper as early as she can remember. When her mother suddenly fell ill, she assumed the role of cooking for her family at 10 years old. She started with the things she knew her family loved: Southern comfort food from their South Carolina roots like biscuits and fish fillet. From there her love of food evolved. She’s cooked professionally in just about every environment, from her own diner to a corporate kitchen and now (lucky for us all) for our students and community at Common Ground.

Chef Jason Wiener, Chef at Atticus Market


For the first time at Feast we are welcoming  Chef Jason Wiener of Atticus Market. Jason is a New Haven native that has been working in kitchens across Connecticut since his teenage years. A background in culinary nutrition and a love for great food have fueled his passions in the industry, in a wide range of experiences, from pizza and BBQ to vegan/vegetarian food. Jason is inspired by growing his own food, wild foraging and helping to teach others.

Atticus has been an independent New Haven in makes all their bread and pastry at their bakery in Fair Haven, which uses only regionally grown fresh milled grains. Atticus focuses on handmade, artisan techniques and a deep understanding of how to coax the most flavor and nutrition from grains. They believe their choices have an impact on their customers, employees, and community. Their mission istitution since 1975. For four decades, they have served their community by nourishing mind and body. Atticuss to enhance that community by training employees to be leaders with a passion for their work guided by a philosophy that centers on both sustainability and decisions that are better for everyone.

Chef Megan Gill, Executive Chef at Hotel Marcel


Chef Megan Gill has been following her dream of being a chef since she was a child. Growing up, she used her family for testing and perfecting her skills. She pursued culinary education and as her passion increased, she began working in the hospitality industry and in 2018 she was IACC Copper Skillet Junior Chef runner up. She was on Hell’s Kitchen Season 20 “Young Guns” and placed runner up. Chef Megan is now the Executive Chef at Hotel Marcel in New Haven, CT. Hotel Marcel is a 100% electric hotel that operates fossil fuel free. In their words, “Hotel Marcel is a model for sustainability within the hospitality industry, committed to doing what we can to tackle the global climate crisis.”



Feast is organized by Audrey Nefores, Director of Development and Communications at Common Ground. If you have any questions, please reach out to her at Thank you for being a part of our community.


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